The debut album Valenti by Valenti “Funk” Thomas is quite a production He enlisted an impressive array of people including The Effinays’ lead singer Joe “Big Spook” Martinez, hip-hop artist Kedrian “Versatile” McPhearson, touring background vocalist for Erykah Badu, LaLa Johnson and Zach Pohl of the Zach Scott Pohl Band. That is really just the beginning.
Valenti himself is a multi-instrumentalist and was in The Effinays. The Effinays are a funk/reggae band and it’s not that surprising that some of the songs on his album are rooted in funk and reggae. The first thing that came to mind when listening to these songs is that they would sound great live. Don’t get me wrong the production is great but there is something about the groove that makes you want to grab a drink and dance along with other people.
The album starts off with “Irving/Bear Creek” which is more or less an intro. It’s a heavy hitting groove led by a couple of synths. After I heard “Irving/Bear Creek” I wasn't expecting the relatively straight forward reggae of “Party Fiesta.” The spirit of the song is really all in the title. It’s more a less a party in a song.
If “Party Fiesta” is the party then “More Light” is the after-party. “More Light” has a very chill, old school Bob Marley type vibe that eases you into a state of tranquility. There is some fantastic saxophone on this song towards the end that mixes with a number of different elements.
“You” is a bit of an unexpected deviation. It’s a purely instrumental track that is atmospheric and dreamlike. It more or less felt like an interlude into the upbeat, party jam “Same Mo’” that is funky and probably a crowd favorite. “Oh My” is an exceptional song that contains soulful female vocals while “Backslide” has a 90’s r&b vibe. “Chill On The Couch” is whimsical song revolving what sound like a wind flute.
My one minor issue of the album is the disparity of the songs. The tracks don’t feel connected which made it have the feel of a compilation album of different artists rather than the vision of one person. At the very least it will cause some confusion as to what to expect from Valenti in the future since he tackles everything from Reggae to Hip-hop and a lot of styles in between.
Overall, the album was enjoyable because of the stellar production and well written song. Recommended.
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